I feel your pain. I have two, DS a quiet, kind and complacent child, who we all agree ruined us for the next one, DD, an indescribable ball of energy, emotion and manipulation. We had a very tough time with her because of the constant drama. Mine are on the autistic but gifted spectrum and they have challenged me in very different ways.
It took me years to realize that DD's emotional manipulation and outbursts was triggering me to FOO issues. I had a narcissistic and emotionally unstable and resentful mother. I entered motherhood determined to do better, not realizing the impact my DD's emotional manipulations would cause me, by reverting me back to an emotional teenager. It was really tough for years. Once I learned how she was triggering me, I was able to handle her better as a mom than as a damaged daughter myself. It is hard being a mom. I called it herding chickens, because I could never get them rounded up and doing anything I needed them to do without great effort and stress.
Our DD was selfish from birth, always wanting whatever DS had, even as an infant, she would crawl from her Christmas toy pile to try and take his toys. It was never about the toys but about getting what he had. And that kid has wanted everything. I got a 3 page handwritten letter in elementary school explaining why letting her have fire belly toads as pets was a good idea and all the ways she would be responsible in caring for them. One guess how that turned out after I caved and got those cute little toads. My DD is an acquirer, not a keeper. The things she has to have, she grows bored with as the next thing comes along. Toys, clothes, then boyfriends... it's been very interesting watching her grow up.
She's grown now, a working girl with a great job and we are so proud and amazed that she has made so much progress as a person. We pull out the old letters and photos and reminisce about what a pain in the ass she was for the first 18 years or so, and she is legitimately embarrassed about her behavior, and asked why we put up with her being such a brat. Ha! It's not like we all didn't try to change her but she is a force.
If it is any consolation, the traits that drive you crazy now might just serve her well out in the real world. Our DD is confident and fearless in getting what she wants, be it jobs, relationships, hobbies, friends. She puts up with zero crap from people and is relatively happy now. I love her with all I have, and I'm so proud of who she has become, but I will always remember how many ways she drove me to the brink of my patience and my sanity when she was in her worst phases.
I always told myself that crummy kid phases were signs of big growth, either physical or emotional. I read a lot about brain development during the tween and teen years and that helped me stay sane and have some empathy for them both too.
Hang in there mama!
BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.